So, I caught a little clip on TV the other day about more and more families choosing “staycations” this year due to the rising cost of gas. These are stay-at-home vacations, usually in the backyard. I suppose that might work in lieu of the usual family trip for those with small children. Heck, when they’re little, they leave crying, whether it’s the backyard or Disney World. I was envisioning what the scene would look like with my people, who tend to argue amongst one another with only the slightest confinement. This is how I see it: Cute Little German Mother is inside making German potato salad – her specialty. Twelve-year-old son is in the backyard trying to pitch a tent and begging his sister or cousin, both 19, to help. Sis and cousin reply, between breaks on the video game “Guitar Hero,” that they will not help and are most certainly not going to sleep in the backyard, amid the dog poop. I would be doing what I always do – trying to keep the peace until I give up, get upset, and go for a drive, thus defeating the gas conservation plan. I think we will have to opt for the close-to-home vacation. And, perhaps, we could do it in small groups instead of all at once. I don’t know if everyone has felt this, but there’s just something that steals the fun when your teens appear to do things with you only due to a sense of obligation ... or, of course, their desire for monetary gain. I’ll split those teens up and leave one with my Cute Little German Mother, who is reluctant to travel. Did I say reluctant? I meant, she absolutely refuses to be transported beyond her familiar territory. And if the Little Cutie says no, then you better not push. So, I will take my daughter, once so sweet and adorable and eager to please. And my son, who lately is on a hormonal roller coaster that I once thought was reserved for girls. Yes, the three of us will go, but not too far. They won’t have to share the back seat. For those of you who don’t know yet, the “He’s touching me!” screams from the back seat are never over, no matter how old your children are ... they do, however, sometimes gain additional comments ... not in a good way. My daughter will have to stop to go to the bathroom within the first 10 miles, as is customary. My son will say that he is bored within that same time period. OK, I’m starting to worry about it already. Since I first became a mom, I have the art of worry down to a science. I could teach it. First you worry about the health of your unborn baby. Then you worry that you don’t know what you’re doing. You always worry that they will get hurt. You worry that someone might be mean to them at school. You worry that they will never get through school with that teenage attitude. You worry when they start to drive. You worry about paying for college. And you worry when you realize that it was true, you did not know what you were doing. You explain to the oldest that you are sorry, you were still practicing. The youngest may have it better, but Mom is not as much fun now that she’s older and had so many years of worry. Fathers don’t seem to worry much. I think that testosterone has some kind of ‘worry suppressant’ in it. It kicks in with selective hearing, just after puberty. So, the staycation is a no-go, but we won’t go far. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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